Can I make my hen "unbroody"?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Love my Critters!, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Love my Critters!

    Love my Critters! Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Carlsbad, NM
    I have a silkie hen that has been setting on eggs for over a month now. She also has a helper hen that is laying eggs in the pile and helping her sit. Together they get VERY upset if I go near them and try to mess with the eggs. These eggs are not going to hatch and now there are so many (over 30) that my 2 little 1 pound silkies can't cover them all. Is there anyway to make them stop setting? Should I just take the eggs from them? I feel bad because they have worked sooooo hard on trying to hatch these eggs.

    Please help![​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008
  2. jessica117

    jessica117 Songster

    Apr 23, 2008
    SE Tennessee
    I don't have any experience with silkies, but I know my cochins are hard to break. Before I had a roo, I was taking my hen's eggs everyday and when she got done laying, she started sitting on her empty nest. After about a week of trying to break her, I finally just got a hold of a friend that had fertile eggs and put them under her.

    I'm sure someone more experienced with silkies than I will have more insight.
  3. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Skip and I use a spare rabbit hutch as a broody-breaking cage. It has a plastic coated wire floor. When our Silkies go broody, when we don't want them to, we just move them over into the hutch with food and water. We don't add hay or pine shavings on the floor as you want the air to be able to hit their bums. It may only take a few days to break them but my girls are decidedly stubborn and they may remain in "chicken jail" up to a few weeks.

    Here's a post that I made when one of the Cochins decided to go broody as the cold weather was setting in...

    Hope this is some help!

  4. Love my Critters!

    Love my Critters! Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Carlsbad, NM
    Thanks for the info! I might have to give that a try. All my other hens are broody or with their babies, so I do not have an fertilized eggs to put under her. I have ordered some for the bator but they way the other hen keeps adding eggs to the nest and my broody can't cover all of them all the time, I'm afraid to waste fertile eggs.
  5. danrut101

    danrut101 Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    I have noticed on my Silkies and Cochins that if I can't make a last run to pick up eggs in the late afternoon, more times than not I'll have a hen go broody and be setting upon my return in the morning. I also do the same as above. Move them to a solitary wired bottom cage with food and water, and they are usually broke in a few days.

    As a side note, some hens, especially Cochins and Silkies will adopt chicks. I have put day old chicks under my Cochin hens in the past and pulled the eggs at night and the hens will adopt them as their own.
    But, sometimes she doesn't, so you have to keep an eye on her in the morning.

    Danny D
  6. Mamawolf

    Mamawolf Hatching

    May 10, 2008
    Hi. I just joined the group and have been browsing thru the forum. After years of being "chickenless" we are now waiting on one pipped egg and 4 that haven't pipped yet. All because our granddaughter wanted to hatch eggs in an incubator for her science fair and where we expected to be given 4 to 6 eggs, we ended up with 2 dozen. They wouldn't all fit in her incubator, so we ran to the store and built another real quick. Nothing in that batch showed any signs of growing chickens, but we kept them going just the same. Being onlly 9 Britter was extremely upset that nothing hatched, so I went to another lady and got more. Britt has 4 in her incubator and her 21 days was up yesterday. No signs of pipping, but I candled them last week and there are definately chicks.

    Anyway....... I responded in this one because of the question and I didn't see any responses with my father's, 2 uncles and grandfather's method of making a hen "unbroody". They would pick the hen up and dip her bottom in a pan of cool (not cold) water. Worked like a charm. Sometimes they would have to dip more than once, but usually only once.

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